News and Views

Bananas return to Elcho Island

After cyclones wiped out entire banana plantations throughout Elcho Island, the NT Government has committed to supplying new crop.

The Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF) began transporting the banana plants and expect to have them at the community soon.

Regional Director Neil MacDonald said nearly 300 banana plants of three different varieties were specifically grown for this purpose.

“After Cyclone Lam and Cyclone Nathan hit these communities, we were asked to start preparing for replacements,” he said.

“We are proud to be supporting areas that were affected by these cyclones.

“We are hoping to establish these bananas back up in these areas and others can then be supplied by taking suckers off them after they have had a season’s growth.”

The plants were grown out at Katherine Research Station and driven from Katherine to Nhulunbuy in a covered truck before being flown over to Elcho Island.

“These plants are free of disease and have come from areas free of banana freckle,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Quarantine measures are still in place to stop the spread of banana freckle, so please do not take banana plants or suckers into/out of red zones.”

DPIF will be supplying Dwarf Ducasse (sugar banana), Pisang Ceylan (very sweet banana) and DPM 25 (Cavendish type).

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